Belly of the Beest

Berries in Winter

Garden | 16 December, 2010 | By

Currants at the farmer's market over the summer.

I love winter, I really do. I love snow and I love cold. I love the feeling of walking inside after shoveling or after a long cold walk. I love scarves and hats and coats. I love stews and heavy bread.  I love root vegetables and apples. But you know what I miss during the winter? Berries, beautiful, fresh, sweet berries.

Before Nick and I went to Europe this fall I got a collection of eastern European fairy tales from the library called Stories of Hope and Spirit: Folktales from Eastern Europe. It was an incredible collection with stories that formed beautiful and deadly images in your mind. The story that made the most lasting impression on me was called “Strawberries in Winter.” It is a tale about a beautiful young woman and her evil step-mother and step-sister. They are cruel to her, as is the way in fairy tales, and make absurd demands of her. They send her on errands into the cold winter nights that they think she will die trying to complete. Yet she always finds a way to fulfill their desires and in the end the cruel women die because of their malcontent. I won’t ruin how this happens because I want you to buy or check out the collection for yourself. The book can be found here. It is worth the money or the wait to get it from the library.

Blackberries at the farmer's market

Earlier this week we had a big storm that dropped quite a bit of snow and it reminded me of this story. I know I could go to the store and get berries in the winter, but they wouldn’t taste right. None of the berries would. I was even dreaming about berries the night before the storm. In the dream I was searching for ice cream. When I found some it was topped with fresh blackberries and it was so refreshing. This, I should mention, is an anomaly because my dreams are usually more like nightmares, so it was pleasant to have a rest from that for a night.

I know it is only December, but it is nice to have something to look forward to.

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  1. Martin Seay
    19 December, 2010

    Hey B, I am glad you brought that “Stawberries in Winter” story to my attention. Weird folktales are something I want to read more of in 2011.

    In our Movie Group awhile back we watched Ingmar Bergman’s film “Wild Strawberries,” which is kind of about — in a very broad metaphorical sense — thinking about berries during winter. It’s a great movie; I think you’d like it.

    These photos are both awesome. I dig the contrasting lines and textures, and the colors in the first one really remind me of some of the silkscreen versions of Double Elvis by Andy Warhol . . .

  1. Internet Art – The Art of O » Blog Archive » Festive Flora at Bostons Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum through Early Jan. As Construction on New Wing Progesses - [...] Berries in Winter | Belly of a Beest [...]

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